Nike recently decided to close its offices for one week. The globally known shoes and apparel brand is giving its employees a week off of work to work on their mental health and recover.
Matt Marrazzo, a senior manager at Nike, said, “It’s not just a ‘week off’ for the team … It’s an acknowledgment that we can prioritize mental health and still get work done.”
Liz Tippett, an associate professor at the University of Oregon School of Law whose work emphasizes employment law and practices, said, “I like raising the focus of mental health as a basis for people to take their time off, not just when they’re physically ill,” Tippett said. “I think it’s important to recognize the role mental health plays for workers and worker well-being.”
Many companies are putting mental health ahead as workplace burnout becomes more recognized and mental health becomes a bigger priority.
Though Nike’s offices are getting a week off, their retail employees are still hard at work as their stores stay open. This has set a strange double standard for these two sets of employees. In fact, one of the Nike retail store employees stated that they didn’t even know that anyone was getting a week off of work.
Liz Tippett said, “If it is the case that part-time workers in a retail store are expected to come to work, whereas headquarter offices are not, that also sends a message about which kind of workers they care about and are willing to invest in.”
If Nike really wants to prioritize the mental health of their employees, they should consider offering time off to retail workers as well. Retail workers are just as important and deserve to be treated as such.
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